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Nuclear scientists 'defect' as North Korea defies America
The Times (UK) ^ | April 19, 2003 | Elaine Monaghan in Washington

Posted on 04/18/2003 5:05:59 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Nuclear scientists 'defect' as North Korea defies America

NORTH KOREA has apparently thrown down the gauntlet in its nuclear standoff with the United States by claiming that it was reprocessing more than 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods that could be used to make atomic bombs.

The country’s Foreign Ministry said that the American-led war in Iraq had taught Pyongyang “it was necessary to have a powerful physical deterrent force”.

“As we have already declared, we are successfully reprocessing more than 8,000 spent fuel rods at the final phase, as we sent interim information to the US and other countries concerned early in March after resuming our nuclear activities from last December,” a ministry spokesman said.American officials were baffled by the claim and suggested that North Korea’s message might have been lost in translation. It was impossible to tell from the original Korean text whether Pyongyang had already started reprocessing or was merely about to do so.

“Frankly, it’s not clear exactly what it means. There’s some imprecision in the language about the status of reprocessing,” Richard Boucher, a State Department spokesman, said.He added: “We would regard processing of spent fuel to extract plutonium as an extremely serious matter.”

The ambiguous North Korean announcement came as a report in The Australian disclosed that up to 20 of North Korea's military and scientific elite, among them key nuclear specialists, had defected to the US and its allies through a smuggling operation involving the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru. An American source confirmed to The Times last night that discussions with Nauru about helping North Korean defectors had taken place.

The defections started last October and were made possible with the help of 11 countries that agreed to provide consular protection to smuggle the targets from neighbouring China. Among those believed to be in a safe house in the West is the father of North Korea's nuclear programme, Kyong Won-ha. Debriefings of Mr Kyong are said to have given intelligence officials an unprecedented insight into North Korea's nuclear capabilities, particularly at the Reactor No 1 in the city of Yongbyon.

The current nuclear crisis erupted in October when US officials said Pyongyang had admitted to pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons programme in violation of its international agreements.

President Bush made North Korea a member of his “axis of evil” states in his 2002 State of the Union address. Critics said his speech sent North Korea’s regime into a state of even greater paranoia.

America insisted for months that it would not hold bilateral talks with North Korea. However, a breakthrough came last week when China said it would host the talks that are now threatened.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrineunfold; defection; koreandefectors; northkorea

1 posted on 04/18/2003 5:06:00 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I think it's time this little facility gets paid a visit by our B-2's.
2 posted on 04/18/2003 5:08:48 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: Dog; Grampa Dave; Miss Marple; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Congressman Billybob; *Bush Doctrine Unfold; ...
Bush Doctrine Unfolds :

To find all articles tagged or indexed using Bush Doctrine Unfold , click below:
  click here >>> Bush Doctrine Unfold <<< click here  
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)



3 posted on 04/18/2003 5:09:41 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
bttt
4 posted on 04/18/2003 5:12:12 PM PDT by firewalk
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To: Brett66
Nah, let's try out one of our ICBM's just to let China know what happens when they refuse to keep their pet on a tight leash.
5 posted on 04/18/2003 5:13:56 PM PDT by Orangedog (Soccer-Moms are the biggest threat to your freedoms and the republic !)
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To: Brett66
I think it's time this little facility gets paid a visit by our B-2's.

Yeah, these guys should pretty much end the Korean nuclear dream!

OOps, I thought you said B-52s! :)

6 posted on 04/18/2003 5:14:45 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: All
Here is an earlier note on this from Australia:

N Korean scientists defect ("Operation Weasel!")

7 posted on 04/18/2003 5:17:56 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: All
Looking for location , must here somewhere:


8 posted on 04/18/2003 5:28:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: All
South of the Marshall Islands , almost in the center of the map straight north of NZ:


9 posted on 04/18/2003 5:35:49 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I see the word 'defect' in the Aussie headlines has
picked up a pair of quote marks in the British version.
What's with that, Ivan? Do you think the Times disbelieves its own source, or do they have a prediliction towards things North Korean?
10 posted on 04/18/2003 5:39:45 PM PDT by gcruse (The F word, N word, C word: We're well on our way to spelling 'France.')
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; MadIvan
I see the word 'defect' in the Aussie headlines has
picked up a pair of quote marks in the British version.
What's with that, Ivan? Do you think the Times disbelieves its own source, or do they have a prediliction towards things North Korean?
11 posted on 04/18/2003 5:40:13 PM PDT by gcruse (The F word, N word, C word: We're well on our way to spelling 'France.')
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
That map makes the place seem almost crowded.
12 posted on 04/18/2003 5:41:01 PM PDT by michaelt
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I think that it is long overdue for us to nuke that little Stalinist regime back to the stone age...uh...I mean the paleolithic age...ahh whatever. Let's just get rid of them and move on with humanity.
13 posted on 04/18/2003 5:45:05 PM PDT by Constitutional Patriot
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To: Brett66
I forgot where I read it but one guy said we could drop a GPS guided, hardened steel shaft directly on top of the reactor. It would come in dead silent and go a hundred feet into the ground. It would make the pierce the reactor, causing melt down, and the North Koreans would not be able to dig it out , so as to prove anything.
14 posted on 04/18/2003 5:53:43 PM PDT by AmericaUnited
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"The ambiguous North Korean announcement came as a report in The Australian disclosed that up to 20 of North Korea's military and scientific elite, among them key nuclear specialists, had defected to the US and its allies through a smuggling operation involving the tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru. "

Ernest, do you believe this?

15 posted on 04/18/2003 5:54:12 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
This is the second report, see the link at post #7 which has much more detail.

I think we stand by and see if reported elsewhere. I'll go check elsewhere.

16 posted on 04/18/2003 5:59:54 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: blam

Nauru helped N Koreans defect

Saturday 19 April 2003, 8:05 AM

Up to 20 high-ranking North Korean soldiers and nuclear scientists have reportedly defected to the US and its allies - with a little help from the Pacific state of Nauru.

The defections began in October after 11 countries agreed to provide consular protection to smuggle North Koreans from China to safe havens, The Weekend Australian reported.

The driving force behind North Korea's ambitions to become a nuclear power, Kyong Won-ha, was among the defectors, the paper said.

It said a US-based lawyer approached Nauru's former president, Rene Harris, with an offer to foot the bill for establishing Nauruan embassies in Washington and Beijing.

The purpose was to "provide assistance to certain refugees", according to documents cited by the paper.

Nauru's former finance minister, Kinza Clodumar, claimed he was briefed on Operation Weasel while part of a Nauruan delegation to Washington in October.

"We were going to get a (North Korean) nuclear scientist and his family from a farm in China and then take them in a Nauru consulate car to an embassy," Mr Clodumar said.

Some countries agreed to act as transit points for up to 30 days once the defectors left China, the paper said, citing "confidential documents and interviews with key players in Washington, the Pacific and North Asia".

The now-defunct operation was managed by Americans and New Zealanders operating at arm's length from their governments. Australia was not involved.

Countries believed to have been involved include the US, Nauru, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Thailand, the Philippines and Spain.©2003 AAP

Brought to you by aap

From the Ausralian new Age. -- The Age Company Ltd

Nauru helped N Koreans defect

17 posted on 04/18/2003 6:22:19 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Brett66
Question? How do you empty out an Iraqi Bingo Hall?
Answer: ******************You********************** Yell ***************B52.************************
18 posted on 04/18/2003 6:40:48 PM PDT by Revel
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To: freedumb2003
I remember seeing that red-haired woman singer -- is she Kate Pierson? I'm not a rock fan -- on one of the talk shows during the '92 election. I think they did the song Mesopotamia (lyrics, "turn your watch back a hundred thousand years ... they laid down the law ... uh huh uh huh uh huhhhh..."). The host -- Letterman or whoever -- asked her "What's up?" and she replied "We gotta push out the Bush". The subsequent discussion revealed that for her abortion was the #1 issue and she wanted to "protect choice".

It's weird what you remember and don't remember, but I do remember that.

19 posted on 04/18/2003 6:43:34 PM PDT by TheMole
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I think we still have that MOAB kicking around here somewhere
20 posted on 04/18/2003 6:46:31 PM PDT by vigilante2
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Sounds unbelieveable but some truth to it.

The CIA fact book on North Korea

From what little I've read on the subject, there is a major disaster occuring in NK and that's why we can't stop all food shipments.

21 posted on 04/18/2003 6:52:54 PM PDT by blam
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To: vigilante2
MOAB -- the bomb of choice!!

LOL!!
22 posted on 04/18/2003 6:54:11 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: AmericaUnited
I forgot where I read it but one guy said we could drop a GPS guided, hardened steel shaft directly on top of the reactor.

I heard the same guy, can't remember his name or where I heard him.

I think he proposed six pointed shafts with stabilizer fins and GPS guidance. Dropped from a high altitude they would have enormous speed at impact, going several hundred feet below the reactor after destroying it. No one would excavate under a melted down reactor to look for the huge arrows, so the US would have plausible deniability, and could just claim the NorKors had an accident.

23 posted on 04/18/2003 7:10:20 PM PDT by secretagent
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To: AmericaUnited
The result from such a battle plan would be terrorists with small dirty bombs spreading across America like a rainstorm. Are you ready to get wet and dirty?
24 posted on 04/18/2003 7:50:28 PM PDT by B4Ranch ( "It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards".Claire Wolfe)
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To: B4Ranch
bookmark
25 posted on 04/18/2003 8:23:25 PM PDT by TREGEN
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